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House: Burt urges community to use new Covid-19 app

WeHealth Bermuda and healthiq.bm are phone apps that can help to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Technology played a key role in Bermuda’s fight against Covid-19, with the island rolling out five separate apps.

David Burt, the Premier, said in the House of Assembly that the first, the HealthIQ app, remained in use.

A sequence of other apps were introduced to map the island’s status and keep track of those in quarantine.

Mr Burt told the House that the Government was in “the final stages of piloting a fifth app, WeHealth Bermuda”, which will “support but not replace contract tracing”.

WeHealth’s system is “strictly anonymous” and can notify people of potential exposures. It targets people from their phones according to their level of risk, cutting down on blanket quarantines.

Mr Burt said: When smartphones that have the WeHealth Bermuda app installed are near each other, the app uses Bluetooth signals to determine how close together the devices were, and for how long. A sophisticated model is then used to calculate the risk of infection based on duration, distance and the date of first system onset of the person who tested positive.

“WeHealth Bermuda users who test positive for COVID-19, can privately share their diagnosis with the app. WeHealth Bermuda will then automatically and anonymously alert others who were close enough, for long enough, to potentially be exposed.

“Exposure notifications are sent automatically to those considered at significant risk. WeHealth Bermuda COVID-19 exposure notifications cannot show details that could lead to the identification of persons sending the exposure notifications as the system is completely anonymous.“

The application will go “fully live” next Friday, MPs heard, and its anonymity has been verified by the island’s privacy commission.

Mr Burt urged the public to download the Wehealth app today, telling the House of Assembly it would update automatically. People with smartphones can download it from their app store on their phones.

He added: “The more people who use the app, the more accurately we can contain the spread of Covid-19.“

People wishing to use the healthiq app can go to healthiq.bm or download the app from their app store on their smartphones.

For Mr Burt’s full statement, see Related Media.

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Published December 04, 2020 at 10:42 am (Updated December 04, 2020 at 10:41 am)

House: Burt urges community to use new Covid-19 app

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